This is an adaptation from the lovely Ottolenghi recipe for cauliflower and cumin fritters. I’ve used different spices for a more wintry flavour and I’ve pan roasted the cauliflower before making the batter. This really intensifies its flavour and works perfectly with the caraway.
These are great hot as a main course but also work really well as a packed lunch or meze.
I originally wrote the recipe to use wild garlic with the yoghurt, but it’s a bit early for that. If you want to use wild garlic just use 1 raw stem and 2 or 3 leaves finely chopped in place of the cooked garlic clove.
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped; 3 tbsp olive oil; 300 g thick, natural yoghurt; salt; small cauliflower (around 300–350 g); 120 g plain flour; 2 small shallots, finely chopped; 4 eggs; 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves; 3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley; 2 tsp ground allspice; 2 tsp caraway seeds; 500 ml sunflower oil
Warm 2 tbsps olive oil in a small pan, add 1 clove of chopped garlic and gently cook until soft, mix the olive oil and garlic in a bowl with the yoghurt and some salt, taste, and leave in the fridge to chill.
Cut the cauliflower into florets and place into a pan of boiling salted water. Simmer until just tender but still with a little bite. Drain well and toss with 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil.
While the cauliflower is cooking, mix together the rest of the chopped garlic, the shallots, the flour, eggs, allspice, thyme, 1½ tsp salt and chopped parsley to make a batter.
Get a pan really hot and toast the caraway until it is giving off a good smell but don’t let it burn. Remove the caraway then put the cauliflower in the same pan. Let it catch so it has dark brown bits all over. This really emphasises the flavour.
Add the cauliflower and caraway to the batter. Use a wooden spoon to break up the cauliflower and mix in well.
Pour sunflower oil into a pan to a depth of about 2 cm. Make sure the pan is no more than two thirds full with oil. Get the oil hot and then spoon in portions of the cauliflower batter, about 2 tbsps per fritter. Cook in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Cook for about 3–4 minutes, until golden brown, on each side. When cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
Serve with some of the yoghurt drizzled over.